Chronic Hives: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Chronic hives is the “long term” type of hives and can lasts more than 8 weeks. Know here about the symptoms, causes and medication of chronic hives.

Chronic Hives: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Also known as urticaria, hives is an outbreak of swollen and pale red bumps caused by skin reactions. Hives can be categorized into two types—Short lived (acute) and long-term (chronic). Whereas acute hives can last for anywhere between 6-8 weeks, chronic are the long term hives lasting for more than 8 weeks.

Though chronic hives can’t pose any risk to the life, it can affect your daily lives and sleep. The causes of chronic hives are still unknown; however, it may be symptom of internal health problem including thyroid disease and lupus.

Coming to the medication of chronic hives, a physician may prescribe you antihistamine and anti-itch medications provide relief from chronic hives.

What are the Symptoms of Chronic Hives?

  • Occurring of red or white bumps on the face, trunk, legs and arms
  • Bumps may vary in size and appear in “come and go”  over the time
  • You may feel intense itching
  • Experiencing severe pain and burning around the eyes and inside the throat, lips, feet, genitals and hands
  • Signs can be worsen by heat, stress and exercise

When to Visit Your Physician?

You must rush to your physician if you have:

  • Severe hives
  • Treatment fails to resolve hives
  • Hives that continue to occur for several days
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Have severe chest tightness or trouble breathing
  • Experience swelling in your tongue or throat

What are the Causes of Chronic Hives?

In chronic hives, the bumps can release histamine and other chemicals into your bloodstream. Generally, a physician can’t figure out the exact causes of this skin condition, making it a long term problem. However, the skin reaction (chronic hives) is caused by……

  • Painkiller medications
  • Insects bites
  • Infection
  • Rubbing or scratching
  • Environmental factors like heat and cold
  • Stress
  • Being exposed to Sunlight
  • Exercise
  • Certain foods, alcohol and additives
  • Skin pressure caused by wearing tight accessories like waistband

Who are at the Risks?

Young adults and females are more prone to chronic hives than others.

What are the Complications of Hives?

Facing Problem in Breathing:

In case of swelling occurring inside your mouth or throat, it is difficult for you to breathe normally. This is why you should see your physician immediately if you experience swelling in your tongue or throat.

Allergic Reactions:

Anaphylactic shock is a critical allergic reaction affecting your lungs or heart. Since your bronchial tubes are narrow, it is difficult to breathe and you may even have low blood pressure. Therefore, you feel dizzy or even die. Anaphylactic shock is a sudden reaction, requiring you to go for emergency medical assistance.

Triggering other Immune System Disorders:

If you have chronic hives, chances are you can develop certain immune system concerns including thyroid disease, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Sjogren’s syndrome, celiac disease and type 1 diabetes.

How Chronic Hives is Diagnosed by a Physician?

Since there are numbers of unexplained causes of chronic hives, your physician will choose the treatments based on your physical exam and consultation. He likes to know about your activities, any medications, herbal remedies or supplements you take, foods, affected areas and fading times.

Later, a physician is likely to go for blood tests and other physical examinations to identify the underlying cause of chronic hives. 

What are the Treatments and Drugs for Chronic Hives?

Your physician may suggest you OTC antihistamines that can be combined with self-care treatments and home remedies. Apart from that, your treatment aims to resolve underlying health condition you have. If your physician finds that hives are caused by another condition, his first step is to treat it.

If you have chronic hives and inflamed thyroid, your physician will refer you to the thyroid treatment first.

Coming to the medication of chronic hives, you must take antihistamine medication with non-drowsy formula. Antihistamine is the oral medication aiming to minimize the release of histamine being responsible for the hives.

Besides, your physician can prescribed you the modern version of antihistamines, which have less potential side effects, such as drowsiness, than traditonal antihistamines. These second generation of antihistamines includes Loratadine (Claritin, Alavert), Fexofenadine (Allegra), Cetirizine (Zyrtec), Levocetirizine (Xyzal) and Desloratadine (Clarinex).

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